Skip to main content

tv   Inside Politics  CNN  March 29, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

9:00 am
moment. >> >> it's a two-way street that this type of relationship, this type of contention and these type of language is sometimes often used in relationships like this. we can't treat it as unique. >> guys, thanks so much. >> thank you, kate. >> thanks for joining us. "inside politics" with john king" starts right now. thank you, kate. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. the white house briefing scheduled to begin momentarily. we'll take you there live. the president also this hour in a meeting with a lot of cabinet officials. new jersey governor chris christie, a listening session on the opioid crisis. we'll bring that to you too in just a few moments. one likely question for sean spicer, after the obamacare debacle last week, where did this come from? >> and i know that we're all going to make a deal on health care.
9:01 am
that's such an easy one. i have no doubt that's going to happen very quickly. >> a lot of other people do have doubts. plus, that same reception for senators rare and optimistic talk about recent actions in the war against isis. >> we're doing very well in iraq. our soldiers are fighting and fighting like never before. and the results are very, very good. >> and yes, it's been awhile. hillary clinton returns to the public stage and says democrats must do a better job organizing. >> we need to resist actions that go against our values as americans, whether that's attacking immigrants and refugees, denying climate change, or passing bogus laws that make it harder for people to vote in elections. >> also making a rare public appearance today, first lady melania trump at a state department event honoring women from around the world. >> together, we must declare that the era of allowing the
9:02 am
brutality against women and children is over. while affirming that the time for empowering women around the world is now. >> with us to share their insights nia-malika henderson, dan balz, peter taker of "the new york times." calm now on capitol hill, hours ago there was a dose of chaos. a driver slammed into a police cruiser sparking a chase in which shots were fired. a female driver now in handcuffs in custody. police right now say it appears to be criminal behavior, not terror related. it was an interruption to what's going to be quite a busy day here in washington. we'll bring you the latest if there's an update. we're waiting for sean spicer to enter the room. the president at this listening opioid event. let's start a conversation about the big things. the reception last night with
9:03 am
senators. all members of the united states senate. not all came but he invited all 100. the health care debok counsel fresh in his mind. you heard the president at the top of the show, we're going to make a deal on health care. that's an easy one. i have to doubt it will happen very quickly. based on what. >> it wasn't easy. that was the whole problem. what's interesting to talk about it as if there was a deal to be made with democrats. up till now, the entire conversation has been a negotiation among republicans, should we go this far right. democrats have been off the table both because they don't want to be part of it and because the president didn't invite them to be. the question is, should he split freedom caucus which has been the sore in his posterior for the last couple weeks and try to make a real deal with democrats that won't please a lot of people in his own base or is this just talk to keep the -- keep up the appearance. >> is it just talk is the key question. >> there is no imminent deal.
9:04 am
there is no indication everyone's saying kumbaya over the weekend and now they're suddenly on the brink of a deal. i think a lot of people met political reality over the weekend. a lot of members of congress went home to their districts and had to face the fact they were unable to get the one thing they talked about for seven years done. thing is that president trump campaigned on every day. that's why we are hearing a lot of talk about it. again, there's no indication there's some kind of deal. >> it's loose talk, it's casual talk from the president? that happens quite frequently with this administration. at the moment, when you have failed at something, maybe they can come back and put this together, we don't know what toll it will take on the president. is that the smart thing, we'll get this done, it's easy? >> no, but that's probably better than where he was before on friday. he was basically like too bad, so sad. we're going to move on to tax
9:05 am
reform. >> that was good. >> that's essentially what he said. everyone else was saying, no, we've got to figure something out with health care. and his whole notion was it's the democrats' fault and we'll just let it fail and then we'll come in and rescue this. this is him getting on message. i think he's overselling it. but that is what he does. he speaks in superlatives and thinks everything is easy. he clearly hasn't learned his lesson that everybody learned which is that it's complicated, health care. >> it is. if you look at the new cbs poll out this morning, republican voters i don't know if pass is the right word but not attaching blame to the president. they were asked why the health care bill. 41% say because it's not popular. 30% say it's because the democrats didn't compromise. 16% saying because congressional republicans didn't compromise. 4% say the president. republicans giving the president a bit of a pass. for him to be so publicly
9:06 am
optimistic seems out of step. >> it's quite in character with president trump. when he begins to ad lib, everything's great, everything's wonderful. everything's going to be easy. we're going to win so much you're going to be tired of winning, et cetera, et cetera. but you know, as everybody says there's no concrete evidence that there's a makable deal that anybody's really got in mind right now. i mean, i talked to tom perez, the new chairman of the democratic national committee yesterday and said would you guys work with the president, and he said i'd be happy to cooperate with the president on a public option. you can see how far that's going to go. >> democrats will be happy to cooperate with the president if he comes about 95% their way which he's not going to do. they see no reason right now. his approval rating at 40% or lower and see no reason to reach out because had he think he's sinking a bit. you see the briefing room in the koch of your screen now. where did the president's optimism come from? is that casual talk? another question is trying to
9:07 am
resolve the question of whether the administration tried to block sally yates. a holdover from the obama administration. she was supposed to go up and speak to the house intelligence committee in a public hearing and then that was cancelled. sean spicer yesterday said no -- let's listen to sean spicer yesterday. >> the white house did not respond and took no action that prevented miss yates from testifying. that's the story. that's what the documents show. i hope she testifies. i look forward to it. >> that's what he said yesterday. now, what others are saying is that if you read this and dan, your paper broke the story yesterday, this is a letter from the department of justice. she's a former department justice. she reached out and said they've asked me to testify at this hearing. they're saying the president owns those privileges. to the extent she needs to consent to disclose the details she needs to consult the white house. essentially she was going to testify about conversations she had from the justice department with the white house about the former national security adviser, michael flynn and other
9:08 am
aspects perhaps of the russian investigation. she asked for legal guidance. mr. spicer at the podium to the white house. >> good morning, everyone. technically afternoon i guess. sorry to move it up and screw up the schedule a little. but we've got a couple events this afternoon. so i've got to get through the this, get some questions and then got to move on. but we've got two more on camera briefings the rest of the week. this morning the president just wrapped up or is continuing to, i know some of the pool just left. the president is currently host agopioid and drug abuse listening session with senior administration officials, governors, experts in the psychology of drug addiction, recovery awareness advocates and others affected by the opioid crisis. drug abuse has crippled communities across this nation. in 2015, more than 52,000 americans it, 144 people a day, died from a drug overdose with 63% involving an opioid
9:09 am
according to cdc. drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental dysdeath in our country. as the president discussed the brup this morning, we won't be able to be address there's epidemic with a single solution. first, we must get trug ling americans the help they need. too many families have seen the destruction that drug abuse can bring and we must focus on prevention on law and enforcement. cheap heroin is flooding into communities as cartels expand into the country setting off a chain reaction of addiction that spreads from person to person and everyone family to family. president trump has already taken executive action to strengthen law enforcement and dismantle criminal cartels. he and his team will continue to discuss how best to root out the threat to american communities of with drug enforcement experts. stopping this epidemic is an issue that every american regardless of your political background can and must get
9:10 am
behind. we must work together from the leaders to the most local from most local and community recovery and support programs all the way to the white house to solve this problem. the white house took a big first step this morning in our bat to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis by meeting with these individuals which included nrnlgs governor chris christie, a leader on this issue, attorney general sessions, education secretary devos, veterans administration secretary shulkin, homeland security secretary kelly were in attendance. a full list of participants has been provided. i know the pool was just in there. it is some of the stories from some of the individual who have been involved in this with the family member are unbelievably compelling. their desire to see and to work with the administration to get this problem addressed is one that is plaguing communities and i know the president places it at the highest priority.
9:11 am
there was a mention by the drug, the acting administrator of the dea that they have a program where twice a year, they gather unwanted drugs, last year they gathered over a million pounds of unwanted drugs. 35,000 sites americans can drop off stuff in their medicine cabinet to get it out of their house. the next drop-off will be on april 29th. the dea will put out more information. when you see some of the action that was taking place in report it is a call to arms for a crisis plaguing our country. this afternoon, the president will drop by the women's empowerment panel that the white house is hosting led by florida attorney general pam bondi. education secretary betsy devos, small business administrator linda mcmahon, u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley, see ma verm ma who will
9:12 am
speak about the challenges women and young girls face today. vice president pence and the first lady will also be in attendance. the president is proud his administration is full of so many female leaders from whom will be on stage this afternoon to those in -- so that their work doesn't always make headlines but it's felt across the federal government and across our nation. women's history month is coming to an end. the trump administration is committed to empowering women in the workplace. the work we started this month will not end at the end of this month. it will continue. the president made women's em paurpt a priority throughout the campaign speaking out on affordable child care and paid family leave, investing in women's health and the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and business owners. in february, he and prime minister trudeau from canada launched the united states/canada council for advancement of women entrepreneurs. this month the first lady hosted an event for international women's day in the east wing. cms administrator burma hosted a panel on women and health care.
9:13 am
ivan an ca held a roundtable with women business owners with linda mcmahon as well as others with latina business owners. the first lady joined the undersecretary for political affairs tom shannonton present the secretary of state's international women of courage award at the state department. the president believes as the first lady said this morning "wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them. however, wherever women are empowered, towns, villages, schools and economies are empowers and together we're all made stronger." the trump administration will continue to work to ensure that the american economy is a place where women can work and thrive. later this evening, the vice president will participate in the swearing in of david friedman as the next ambassador to israel. president is glad that ambassador friedman will be officially on board as we strive for a lasting peace in the middle east. mr. friedman's strong relationships in israel will be a tremendous asset to the president in furthering that mission. finally i want to speak about
9:14 am
judge gorsuch and the blatantly political obstruction of his nomination to the supreme court by senate democrats. yesterday, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said next friday the senate will vote to confirm neil gorsuch to the supreme court. unfortunately, senate democrats began justifying their opposition by claiming a 60-vote standard for his confirmation. that standard doesn't exist and these claims continue to be false. a party line filibuster by the senate minority is not a fair up or down vote. you don't have to look further than the voices of many of these same democrats to see why in 2013 senator tom udall said and i quote in full, some of us may disagree with justice scalia on philosophy, you he is a qualified nominee. he receives up an or down vote and he was confirmed. likewise ruth ginsburg was considered a liberal. many of the other side may have disagreed with her views but she was confirmed by a vote of 96-3.
9:15 am
he added a minority in the senate should not be able to block qualified nominees." we could not agree more with senator udall. unfortunately, he has now adopted a new party line of obstruction on confirmation of judge gorsuch. it's sad and unfortunate. we encourage all senators from both parties to fairly evaluate the judge's eminent qualifications and grant him a vote. with that, glad to take your questions. april. >> thank you, see. >> how are you today. >> i'm fine and how are you? >> fantastic. >> well, sean, going back to some issues in the news, nunes is not going to recuse himself. what does the white house say about that? >> well, april, the white house, as i think i mentioned this yesterday, i mean, he's conducting an investigation. he is the elected or appointed,
9:16 am
i can't remember how they do it over there, but appointed and confirmed but by his colleagues in the house and the speaker. he is the chairman. he's going to conduct an investigation. it is up to the house of representatives and the speaker and the members of the house republican conference to determine. but there's nothing i see that is problematic in him conducting an investigation that we asked both the house and senate intelligence committee. >> reporter: what conversations with paul ryan -- to include demes and republicans are talking about what looks like impropriety in the intel chief's handling of this so far, particularly as there's not a hearing right now. >> well, i would take issue with -- i think you're right there may appear to be certain things. but i don't think there's any actual proof or sustaining allegation about anything that's done. again, i mentioned this yesterday. if you look at what chairman nunes has done, he has met with people who are clear to discuss
9:17 am
classified information regarding a review that he is conducting. that's how it's supposed to work. again, i understand that when things are leaked out in the media, that somehow that is a standard that's acceptable, but when two people who are cleared to discuss classified information or three or however many discuss classified information, somehow that's wrong because it's not being leaked. he is conducting a review which we have supported on both sides of the chambers and i think they should do this. but i think to start to prejudge where this thing is going, we have been as supportive as you know, and i think that let's let that process bear itself out and see what happens. i will tell you that i've seen reports in the media that the nsa has documents that they are supposedly trying to get to the house intelligence committee and that have been requested. we think that's a great thing. if that's in fact what's happening. but again, i think part of this all gets back to that there is a
9:18 am
process. and i get that sometimes it's frustrating to us. i believe that we want this over as much as i think some of you. but we recognize that there's a process that has to take place. and that process is taking place that is the chairman and house intelligence and i know that senator burr and senator warner are talking about the process they're going to go on the senate side. some of these things take a little bit of time. to the extent they are gathering the proappropriate documents and looking at those things, that's part of the process and review being undertaken and we're fine with that. >> reporter: second topic, tax reform and infrastructure, reports are saying you're going to do it together. aca, obamacare going into trumpcare at that time, tax reform, infrastructure were said to be some of the reasons why you did not come up in the budget with eliminating the debt. do you have cost estimates as it relates to tax reform and infrastructure as of yet? >> no, because i think you need to have plans laid out first. i think part of this is we're in
9:19 am
the beginning phases of both of those. so to have a score on either one of them or a cost when we don't have those formalized yet and i think we're in the beginning phases of having those discussions with both stakeholders, members of congress on both sides and obviously internally, the formulation of those plans is continuing. till that happens, i don't see us having a formal cost or a score. >> reporter: cbo now? >> it's not a question of trust. i want to be clear about what i've said before. i think when it comes to cost estimates and budget issues, which is what cbo is charged to do, threw are the congressional budget office. while i think sometimes they're a little off on that, that is what they're charged with doing. i think there's a score. it's not a question of trust. it's a question of accuracy. i think the issue we previously brought up was when they had scored people and coverage which isn't necessarily their wheel house, they have been way off.
9:20 am
again, i don't think it's a question of us trusting or not. it's literally a question of saying they believed that 26 million people would be on obamacare. 10.4 were and falling. i think that's not a question of whether we trust them or not. it's a question of those are the facts. and those facts bear out that they were off by more than 50% when it came 0 counting people. i just want to be clear that it's not a question of whether we drust them. i would ask whether that's really what they're supposed to be doing. major. >> reporter: a couple things we talked about on monday. monday you said to us from the podium, you would look into how chairman nunes was cleared here and with whom he met. we tried to ask you that yesterday as you walked out. do you have any information to live up to the commitment you made on monday to provide more details about how that happened in a process you just told us again is above board and totally appropriate. >> i don't have anything for you on that at this time. but again. >> have you looked at it. >> i have asked some preliminary
9:21 am
questions and not gotten answers yet. but so no, i don't have anything further on that. i would argue, major, it's interesting and i brought this up the other day, there seems to be fascination with the process. it's how did he get here, what door did he enter as oppsed to what's the substance of what we're finding. not from you. i'm not trying to be -- so many times i get calls we have an unnamed intel source that says the following occurred. do you admit, deny it, whatever. we have an argument over substance. in this case, the fascination is what is door did he come in, who did he meet with, as opposed to what i think it should be ironically it's not when it's the shoe's on the other foot is what's the substance. just yesterday, just to be clear, we started this day with "the washington post" falsely posting a story saying the white house blocked sally yates. right? by the end of the day, it's officials blocked sally yates. they were wrong. they jumped to a conclusion based on whatever unnamed sources. what we're trying to do is argue
9:22 am
there should be a process. the chairman of the house intelligence committee and others are going through a review. we support ta review. and so as much as i understand that everyone wants to jump to how did everyone get in, what did they do, they're undergoing an investigation. >> reporter: i have a substantive question about that but i'm asking you about something you told us. >> i said i would look into it. >> are you going to continue to look into it. >> i will. >> will you live up to that obligation. >> the obligation, as i said i would look into it. and il continue to do that. >> you said yesterday about sally yates, show what you know. one of the reasons there's a question about chairman nunes it, he hasn't told his own committee members what he knows, how he learned about it, and what the substantive importance of that is. so we are also curious about that and among the things that might be or might shed light on that is how he got here, who he met with and weather learned. >> those are questions for him. i think i also think. >> standard he should be held to.
9:23 am
>> there's a slippery slope we're talking about here because if we start looking into certain things and the accusation the next day is going to be you looked into this. why did you ask this bern or not. a couple weeks ago when there were stories whether or not we called certain people and we did. we're damned if we do and damned if we don't on stuff. on the one hand, you certain answers and talk about us being involved. we asked for an investigation. at the same time, we've tried to make sure that we allow that review to go on that both the house and the senate intelligence. so we can't cherry pick pre time you decide that a piece of information is relevant to what you want. i think we know that they are undertaking a review. hold on. >> the members of the very committee themselves say they don't know what is being discussed. how is the process going forward? how is that a workable process. >> what i'm saying is the answer to that question, that's a question for chairman nunes. i don't have any authority over
9:24 am
how the house intelligence committee conducts itself. >> you have a story whether he gets into this building and gets secured information on this site. >> how he conducts himself with his members, when and where he shares things are issues for him and the committee and the house and not for us. that's it. >> reporter: we know members of the house freedom caucus, the tuesday group of republicans are up on the hill trying to see if they can come to an agreement to find a way forward on health care had pow real does the white house think this possibility of resurrecting health care is? >> well, i think the president from the early days of his campaign talked about repealing and replacing. it's a commitment that he made. i think he would like to get it done. but he also understands and i don't want to be -- i want to be completely consistent with two things. one is, he understands that in order to get to 216, we have to i can ma sure that it does what he said it was going to do, achieves those goals of lowering
9:25 am
costs and creating more options. so we're not going to create a deal for the sake of creating a deal that ends up being not in the best interests of the american people. you've got to know when to walk away from a deal that will end up bad. he wants to have a good deal. so the deal that he's looking for is willing to have members come and talk to him and engage with on this whole area and figure out what it would take, what their ideas are to get there to grow that vote. if they can do that and get to an area where we will have a majority of the house, we're going to engage in that. we've seen members of both sides of the aisle engage with the white house on ways that are potentially ways that to get there. so it's a conversation. and we're not trying to jam that down anyone's throat right now. it's an ongoing discussion. >> does the white house share the frustration of many republicans in capitol hill and the sentiments that the house freedom caucus "botched this"? >> i think the president's
9:26 am
comments on this speak for themselves. >> reporter: i have one more. on the same thing. the president, members of the white house have suggested that maybe we could get some democrats on board. health care reform. the fact that no democrat, not one democrat supported the last attempt and given the desires of the freedom caucus versus what the democrats were going for, is it reasonable to think that even one democrat would come on board with this? >> no, i mean, i think it is not unreasonable. >> i said is it reasonable. >> i think it depends on how they want to get there. i mean again, there's a balancing act. it's not about picking up one but enough to get to 216. what does that take without compromising the principles you want to achieve. so is it possible? sure that there's a handful or so or maybe more democrats that are willing to engage. but it's worth the conversation. again. >> kind of a boehner tactic to say if you're not going to work with us, we're going to go to
9:27 am
the democrats? >> no, it's a math tactic. how do you get to 216 in this case. and it's engaged with whoever will get to you that number. over the course of 17 months, obamacare, you know, failed and started multiple times. it went off on multiple different tracks including single pair till it finally came back and ultimately upon scott brown's election they jammed it through and did it so quick to make sure that the secretary of human services -- i get it. so we're 20 days, 21 days into this process, 22 probably today. so we'll see. but i think the idea that the president has put out there is that if people want to float ideas and suggestions on how we can grow this vote and get to a majority, he'll entertain them. >> i have a lightning roundabout opioids. is a commission being created? is chris christie the head of that commission? he was talking about it but i
9:28 am
haven't seen anything on it. what sort of time line will that commission have in terms of presenting findings? what's the goal of this? >> well, i think it's easier to start with the goal. if you see the roundtable and i know the pool will have a readout of this afterwards, the goal is to figure out i think governor christie has been a leader of this in new jersey. it's an issue that plagues countless communities more and more. and so you know, whether it's new hampshire or other places in the midwest, it's sitting there and figuring out best practices. and how can we get it down and how can we provide the treatment. i mean i think the dea administrator was noting in the discussion that we've gotten really good law enforcement. but the question is, how do we focus on the treatment, how do we focus on the prevention. how do we look at things that happened in the past to deter drug addiction from start flth first place and young people in particular from start with drugs to how to help families cope
9:29 am
with this. i think today is the first tep of bringing some of the stakeholders together. but like i just mentioned on the other thing, i appreciate that everyone wants the answers but i think that there's a reason that you're looking at this as two things. a whole of government and a whole of person. right? it's looking at how do we look at people to help them get the recovery, stay clean, not start in the first place, help them get them into treatment centers, had help them get a job afterwards. there's a lot of whole of person. but there's the whole of government. you're looking at around that table today, you've got families and parents. and individuals who have been personally affected in one way, shape, or form. governor christie dealt with it at a state lenl. p bondi. dea, you've got secretary due vos looking at it from an education and prevention. it is a big, big issue plaguing
9:30 am
our country, plaguing our communities and families. i wish i could say this is how we're going to solve the problem but the first step is understanding the problem, the magnitude of it and looking at how we approach it holistically. >> reporter: the timeline for them coming back with findings, and then the president when he was campaigning seemed to endorse the stop act which would prevent fentanyl from being -- help to prevent it from being imported from countries like china. would he use his presidential bully pulpit to sort of push for that legislation now which has not gotten off the ground yet over in the congress? >> not the specific piece of legislation but there was a lot of discussion about fentanyl and the rise of itted today. the attorney general brought that up and talking about the escalation of that from the 1980s to now. there is a look at it. again as i mentioned, you've got the attorney general there law
9:31 am
enforcement and education. part of this to look at this and figure out what are the ways we can address it from coming into the country and the dea administrator was talking about it, especially the flow from the southern boarder. you look at it from a law enforcement issue and treatment and prevention issue. i wish i could say here's the silver bullet to stop this, but we recognize the growth of this problem and this epidemic. how do we solve it going forward. john? >> reporter: thank you, sean. yesterday, prime minister teresa may signed the letter that began the process for brexit. a week ago, on friday, jean-claude juncker who is the president of the european used some unusually strong language about the president saying that his comments encouraging other brexits could lead to war among the balkan countries, and he also said in the end, and he's
9:32 am
quoted on page 1 of the financial times," that the president does not know a lot about europe. what is the president's response to that. >> to brexit in particular. >> to the comments by president junker of the european division. >> i think the president is very well steeped in world affairs especially europe, nato. he's a leader in the effort to call brexit, as you know. and obviously, with respect to that, we respect the will of the british electorate and her majesty's government in taking steps of departing the european union, whatever future the uk, eu relationship looks like, we want the uk to remain a strong leader in europe for both the eu in europe to remain strong lieders globally. both on the eu, veronica. >> thank you. i have two questions or topics. what's the white house reaction to the shooting today at the capitol? >> well, it sounds like a very troubled individual.
9:33 am
obviously, i'll let law enforcement read that out. but i don't want to ged ahead. from what i understand and seen, it's sounds like a very troubling instance. again, i don't want to get ahead of this. it looks like law enforcement, i appreciate the efforts that the capitol police and others took. you literally watch people put their lives in harm's way today to protect torres and other citizens. i want to commend the work of the capitol police and the work of law enforcement to continue to protect us at this time when washington is in its glory with the cherry blossoms out and so many people are coming here to visit. tidal basin and their house of representatives and the senate and walk around washington, d.c. it's reassuring to know so many brave men and women are willing to make sure that the city stays safe. >> last weekend the president spent the weekend here, not at mar-a-la mar-a-lago. was that in any way in response to some of the pushback he's received about the costs associated with those trips and
9:34 am
part two of that, does he plan to be here again this weekend? >> so no, yes. the president wanted to be here last weekend. he wants to be here this weekend. he'll be here. i will have updates on where he'll be going forward. >> does he show any concern about that pushback. >> no, he feels great. >> thank you. president trump is reportedly expected to sign legislation that would allow internet service providers to monitor internet activity and sell that information without users' permission. will he be signing that legislation and why does he think it's good for america? i'm wondering who this benefits apart from isps and their executives. >> the house and senate just passed that. we'll have further updates on that. i know that i believe we have a statement of administration policy on that bill out. and we have further updates on a signing ceremony. >> doesn't this emotion of protections make new jersey risks for people to use that is
9:35 am
information for nefarious purposes, hostile nations looking at what congressmen are browsing online? is that concerning to the white house? >> as i mentioned, we have a statement of administration policy on that bill. we'll have further updates. when we sign it, i'm sure we'll have details on why. >> two questions for you. members of centcom up on the hill earlier today and testified that u.s. government believes that russia has been supplying materially the -- i was wondering if the white house has any response to that testimony. does it believe that's a constructive. >> who was testifying? >> the commander of centcom. does that take constructive effort on the part of the russian government in that region? >> there are several entities looking into this. i'm not going to -- i will say that d.o.d.'s response speaks for itself. we understand the intelligence on this, the president's been briefed on it. i'm not sure what specificallically you're -- >> on the part of the russian
9:36 am
government right now. >> i think the centcom commander's testimony speaks for itself. >> second topic for you, about a month from now, the government will run out of money. according to cr administrator. the president talked about in his budget request funding for a border wall on south boarder with mexico. is that a deal breaker for the president in any sort of government funding measure in the next month or so? >> on april 29th, the cr continues. continuing resolution. we are going working with congress on that on the fy-17 budget that needs to go forward director mulvaney has talked about that. i'm not going to get into the spec details. if you saw the budget they put out, i think it's $1.6 billion or $1.7 billion he initially put in the fy-17 for the beginning that have wall. there's 2.5. >> [ inaudible question ] >> we will continue to work with congress on how to move forward
9:37 am
with the rest of fiscal year 17's budgeting. > sean, health care. the president here last night speaking to senators that quoting here, "i know they're all going to make a deal on health care. that is such an easy one. i have no doubt that it's going to happen very quickly." what is the renewed sense of optimism and what exactly is very quickly? >> there's a little bit of sound that needs to go with that. he was having a little bit of fun with previous comments made with respect to how easy it would be to get health care. so but there is a renewed sense because i think you know, the comments and the calls that the president has go gotten as well as the vice president and other members of the senior team that have come in and said we believe there's a path forward. we have ideas to talk to you about that. i've seen some of the reports put out regarding some of the individual members of the senate and the house that have been up here meeting with our team. i think there are a lot of people who have some ideas how
9:38 am
to move forward. and we're entertaining those. but i think the interesting thing is that despite the setback that we got last friday, i think there is a renewed willingness from a lot of members who made commitments to the american people that they this want to see this done and understand that not getting this done means, as i said, and the president can coed when he went up to the house republican conference, there's a consequence for this. people need to be taken at their word. a lot of members made a commitment to their voters and students that they were going to get something done on this and address the health care situation than hasn't gotten done. that's a concern for them. >> let me ask you real quickly, you say that you embrace the house intelligence committee review of all of this. john mccain said earlier today because of the potential schism within that committee, there should be a select committee that gross from this.
9:39 am
would you embrace that if that happens. >> i'm not going to get into house and senate matters. as i mentioned at the outset to april, i believe that people, how they conduct themselves internally is up to them. that's not for us to decide. the question that i still think is outstanding is that what has happened is a review was called for part of it was already on going from what i understand especially on the house side. the chairman has saw the information on individual who's believe that information to further the review. i'm really not sure how it's anything other than what you're supposed to do. i think that is consistent what he has talked about. dave? >> reporter: two questions. you mentioned senator udall oppose ago the gorsuch nomination. he was here at that party last night. did the president try to work with the room with him and other dras about the nomination last night? >> i know he and the first lady and others spoke to a variety of senators. i wasn't keeping tabs on everybody that he spoke to. i do know he had an opportunity
9:40 am
to speak to a lot of different senators. and he's talked to a lot on the phone. i don't know been senator udall himself. >> and secondly, two-thirds of the democratic senators did not attend the party last night. did that disappoint the president? >> i think we're excited to see the one-third did. senator schumer was there, senator durbin. a lot of folks. i think that you know, i'm sure the president will continue to do things like this. it was an amazing opportunity to have a moment sort of free of politics and to enjoy some collegial moments with each other in the white house. and listen to some, united states marine corps bands played some amazing music and bring people together. the president's talked about this. he's mentioned this a bunch of times. there used to be a time when you could sit down and share a meal together. that's what he's been trying to do is bring groups back in and at least have a conversation and get to that human side a little
9:41 am
bit. and so tonight, yesterday was a good start. i think jonathan reporter. the president's got in his inbox a letter from senate democrats. and they say the democrats say they are ready and willing to work with the president on improving obamacare. they have a couple of conditions. first the president has to abandon his effort to completely repeal the law and rescind the executive order signed by the vast majority of democrats in the u.s. senate. what does the president say? >> i think as the president has noted we're willing to engage with people. they understand his principles. we need to repeal the law and replace it with something bet. >> they want you to take full repeal off the table. >> i've seen parts of the letter. i think what we need to do is figure out who wants to engage in a constructive conversation. i understand understand what they want. but again, it's not just a one-way street. i think the president made very clear weather wants to do. to the extent some of them want
9:42 am
to have a conversation, we have a 52-seat majority in the senate. if there's individuals that want to have a constructive conversation achieving the goals, we can do it. they also need to understand the president's red lines. >> but they say as a first step, they want to repeal an executive order. is that something he's willing to do. >> he's committed to making sure he's continuing to go down the path he's gone down. if they want him, they can. there are areas they may want to engage with him on we've seen so far. they have a right to draw their lines in the sand. the president is committed to going down the path he is and obviously, first step is to get to 216 in the house. and then address the concerns in the senate. he's continued to have conversations with the senate. and i think that as obamacare continues to struggle which it is, the premiums continue to go up and up, i think the question is, will those 40 people understand that they are the ones responsible for owning the current policies that are making
9:43 am
so many americans struggle. >> just to clarify, was he joking when he said that making a deal on health care would be an easy one? >> i think if you watch the tape, it was a light-hearted moment, jonathan. he was having a little fun. >> he doesn't think it's easy. >> no, watch. he was having a fun time with the senators there. jim? >> reporter: the other thing that the president said last night was our soldiers are fighting like never before in iraq. as you know, sean, u.s. troops there are in a support role and advise an assist role. what does he mean when he says they're fighting like never before? does it take into consideration what happened during the bush administration and the obama administration. >> i think that there's been some progress particularly in mosul, the way they have taken back that city. i think for a long time, there was a lot of concern about iran moving in and dominating parts of iraq and i think with the
9:44 am
advise and consent of u.s. military advisers, there's been tremendous progress in moving iraq forward to an area of civility and continuing to see troops there in iraq stand on their own. i think that he is very pleased with the action that general mattis and our soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines are taking to do that. >> reporter: a follow-up. if you couple that comment with the comment on health care, it being an easy one to get that done, it sounds like you probably have heard this and come across this notion he's detached from reality in making those comments. >> first of all, i think that -- i again would respectfully ask you to review the tape. he was having a light-hearted moment. he was making a joke. there's been comments before how he didn't get it and he was joking about how easy it was. it was a light-hearted moment. it was on tape. i think everybody in the idea there is this like trying to make it look like he's being
9:45 am
utterly serious at the time is a little bit of a stretch. >> one quick thing on chairman nunes. >> but just so we're clear, he was very proud of the work that our soldiers and sailors are doing over there in iraq. there is a lot of the work and a lot of progress being made and the updates he's getting from general mattis on a daily basis. >> doesn't think they're in combat. >> the no, the progress that's being made in iraq and the fight against isis is going extremely well. he's proud of it. >> do you personally know who the source of chairman nunes' information is? >> no. jeff mason? >> reporter: two topics. first on health care. does the president want to start a new health care bill or tweak the one that did not go last week. >> we're starting with where we are and trying to move that forward. that is the current vessel. >> and on a separate topic, the president did not mention the paris ingredient yesterday.
9:46 am
can you update us on his current thinking about that? does he want the united states to stay in and if he does, how does he expect the united states to meet its commitments without the kleen power plant? >> the paris ingredient is still under discussion within the administration. >> when you'll know? >> i can try to look into that. i don't know at this time. >> early voting has begun in the georgia sixth kong greggs counsel district to fill the seat of secretary price. some democrats have using this as a referendum on the early days of the president. does president trump plan to be involved in that race. >> i've not even thought about it. i think if needed, the president has always been clear that he wants to support the team and help the team. honestly, i have not tried to really focus on -- i've tried to shed that previous life a little. i've not looked into georgia's -- to the race in georgia. i'm sure i'd best refer to you
9:47 am
the nrc on the state of that race. thank you very much. i'll see you tomorrow, thursday. i do owe you one tomorrow. i'm sorry. >> white house press secretary sean spicer holding court in the briefing room for about 45 minutes. one topic that came up a lot was health care. he said the president was sarcastic, joking last night at a reception when he said this. >> and i know that we're all going to make a deal on health care. that's such an easy one. i have no doubt that's going to happen very quickly. >> was that light hearted? was that is sarcastic. >> it didn't seem to be, right? i didn't hear any laughter. when i heard it last night when it was rolling live it, didn't seem to be a joke at all. he talked about it after he was talking about iraq which obviously is very serious. so yeah, this seems to be another example of you know, the air quotes that he didn't mean it the way it seemed initially
9:48 am
and anthis is what we've seen from this white house, revisionist history of whatever trump's words are and this underlying idhe says shouldn't taken seriously. it's just. >> the history that nia is getting at here, the president's own aides say don't even pay attention to his tweets. listen to secretary tillerson or secretary kelly. the history makes you skeptical when you get explanations lining this. it's the first time the president's done this, brought the entire senate down to the white house. maybe he was being casual and relaxed. but in this environment? >> he's still two months into his presidency and he's not been a politics before. he's still learning that people pay attention to every word you say and take it very seriously and literally. even if he was joking, it would be very easy to misinterpret.
9:49 am
it's still something he's adjusting to. he tends to throw things out there very casually undisciplined and that's part of his appeal, right, to his supporters is that he seems candid and not scripted. it leads to these questions where people say what are you really trying to say and what do you believe. >> i do think one of the things that came out of this health care process, there is naivete on the part of this president. you heard him talk the day they decided to pull this bill about the fact that this is sort of learning curve and loyalty and or cane rules in the house and senate. he called it a very interesting experience. i think we'll continue to see some of that. and the question is what lessons does he take away from having to pull that bill the first time and does he personally realize that health care is a lot harder than they thought it was going to be. >> that's the key point. what lessons did he learn. it's easy to say we learned some
9:50 am
lessons. we have not seen any concrete evidence that the administration has decided on a new strategy or any strategy about what to do about this. they're saying yes, there are talks going on. they don't -- sean spicer didn't sound today as if they think there's anything moving in a serious direction. what did they learn? >> if you listen to sean, i think he probably knew what the president said last night. he sounded skeptical. he said some democrats are reaching out. conversations among and between the different republican factions. he was trying to say this is going to take a bit to sort out. >> he put it squarely on congress. he basically said they're the one who's made a commitment to this, that they would pay a price if they weren't able to make good on those commitments. guess what, president trump also made that commitment about repealing and replacing obamacare. this idea his fate isn't tied to obamacare but republicans in the house and senate, their fate is, it's odd. also this idea that his fate as president isn't tied to their
9:51 am
fate. if they don't do well, he won't do well either because they'll be wiped out in terms of elections. >> to dan's point about lessons learned? sean spicer was being skeptical anything will happen in the short term. what do we know? the president went back to miss announcement speech. he said if you can't make a deal with a politician on this, meaning obamacare, you're not very good. by his own standards, he didn't perform very good. we saw steve bannon was involved. reince priebus not as involved. the vice president's role in this including quotes from his as saying at times they don't think reince priebus is up to the task of the legislating part. mike pence was supposed to be the guy. president trusted his math when he said the votes aren't there. i thought he would get some of these things to the finish line or tom price, the health care expert, nick mulvaney, a former member of the freedom caucus.
9:52 am
they had the issue guy, a guy close to the leadership, the freedom caucus guy and budget director and they were unable to get it done. >> donald trump did not use the full force of his persona to go out there and really push it in a public way. he did a public events. he was play aginside game and did not bring to bear the strength of his supporters to put pressure on fellow republicans to go along. it may be because he didn't understand the details of the bill, what he was asking them to do. he didn't seem that engaged in the specs of the negotiation. >> and his staff was incapable of getting there. if the principal seems not up to speed whether it's on the details or don't do a rally in kentucky, go to a freedom caucus district, that's what the political team is supposed to do. >> this was ultimately an inside game. i'm not sure you could do public persuasion on this. we know attitudes on this issue have been in concrete for a long
9:53 am
time. the only thing that changed is the affordable care act is more popular when it was passed and through most of the obama administration. but it comes back to the age-old problem of the republicans on capitol hill and particularly the house conference. that divisioning there, whatever happened in the election had no impact at least for the short term on that fractured caucus. >> let's spend a little fim unpacking more of what we heard from sean spicer. let me start with the mood, if you will. it's been pretty contentious in the room frequently. i watched from afar. he seemed almost sedate. he started to get a little testy with jim acosta at the end there. it seemed to be a deliberate effort on his part calling on april ryan for the first question. he had a spar with her yesterday. american radio correspondent. take us inside that room. >> well, i think you know, there are more contentious briefings, more sedate briefings.
9:54 am
it bandies back and forth. he tries to course correct sometimes when things get a little heated. we saw him try to remedy that a little bit by calling op april ryan first who had this difficult interaction with the day before. i think one of the things that sort of adds to this frustration in the room is that will spicer feels like he's being asked the same question over and over again and reporters feel like they're asking him questions he should be able to answer. the question of who let devin nunes into the white house grounds, who was he meeting with is a very clear example of that. it's not hard for the white house to determine who let someone on the grounds of the white house. that is an answer that is very simple to get. if that is something it the administration wanted to share but it's pretty clear they don't want to share this information. >> i was going to say, he is the white house press secretary. he could get the answer to that question boom. a phone call, walk to the executive office building. >> the other thing that's interesting is the chronology of this.
9:55 am
we all know that sean spicer has an audience of one. who is he performing for? he's performing for his boss. if he goes out guns blazing as he did yesterday, we presume that's because his boss wanted him to. he goes out more sedate. did his boss say pull it back? what was going on behind the scenes before the briefing that caused him to be relative lili restrained as he does today. >> he said nothing that i see that is problematic about devin nunes who has refused to step aside. >> he's in the minority on that. that judgment. i mean, the questions about how the chairman has handled himself particularly over the last ten dayses are widespread in washington. and most of it is critical. there's very few defenders except for a few of his close allies. >> even some republicans in the house who publicly say he should stay, privately you get a lot of doubts. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." >> see you back here same time tomorrow. wolf blitzer in the chair after a quick break.
9:56 am
9:57 am
with e*trade you see things your way. you have access to the right information at the right moment. and when you filter out the noise, it's easy to turn your vision into action. it's your trade. e*trade.
9:58 am
9:59 am
but they're different.d kind it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we've used real ingredients, whole nuts, and natural flavors from the very beginning. give kind a try. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec® and muddle no more®.
10:00 am
hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. the white house says the congressional investigations into russia should go forward and that the lawmaker leading an the house investigation should stay at the helm. the white house press secretary sean spicer just wrapped up today's white house press briefing. he said he sees no reason for the house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes who recuse himself from the investigation. spicer said he has no new details on noneness' visit to the white house last week to view surveillance information and who granted him access to the white house. and he says

29 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on